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Oilseed Commission To Fund $65,000 In Research

The Oklahoma Oilseed Commission was established in 2010 to benefit the canola and sunflower industries of Oklahoma and is solely funded through an assessment on producer sales. These oilseeds are a rapidly-growing sector of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry. Since its inception, the Commission has strived to support a robust research program throughout the state using the assessment funds to maximize the direct benefit to growers.

For the 2012-2013 growing season, the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission is pleased to announce that it will sponsor nearly $65,000 in Oklahoma canola research through Oklahoma State University. Research will cover a wide range of production issues including soil fertility, insect control, and disease control. This research will not be limited to university research stations, but will also be spread across the state in farmer fields. Our goal is to provide practical results that producers can observe first-hand.

Additionally, all research results will be consolidated into a convenient report available to growers online, at Extension offices, and at grower meetings throughout the year.

The Commission strongly encourages canola and sunflower producers to provide feedback and suggestions on areas of concern as to where we should focus our efforts. I can be reached by my direct e-mail at and contact information for all of the commissioners can be found at our website – . This is YOUR Commission and your input is vital to help Oklahoma continue on its path of success in oilseed production.

Brent Rendel, Chairman

Working for the Oklahoma Oilseed Industry

The OOC was created by the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Act which has the purpose of developing programs that will enhance oilseed production, oilseed research, promoting market development and education, and improving profitability of Oklahoma oilseed producers.

Following are some of the responsibilities of the OOC:

  • Collect and disseminate information relating to oilseed production;
  • Identify and coordinate industry-wide programs for oilseed, oilseed resources, oilseed market development, oilseed promotion, and education relating to oilseed;
  • Collect information from oilseed producers and users for purposes of planning and prioritizing expenditures of Commission funds;
  • Protect or represent the best interests of the industry; conduct production, utilization, and policy research that affects the oilseed industry and benefits the profitability of producers; disseminate reliable information; and implement programs to increase the commercial value of Oklahoma oilseed.
  • District 1 – Kelly Chain, Canton, OK
  • District 2 – Alan Mindemann, Apache, OK District 3 – Lee Leeper, Alva, OK
  • District 4 – Brent Rendel, Miami, OK
  • District 5 – Brent Thompson, Pauls Valley, OK ODAFF – Jamey Allen, ex officio, OKC, OK

Oilseed Commission Report: A Looking Forward To A New Season

Fiscal Year 2011 Report to the President of the State Board of Agriculture

Commission elections: Under the initial terms of office stipulated by the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Act, no commission district offices were up for election in FY2011. District 1 office will be up for election in FY2012.

Commission Meetings: The Oklahoma Oiiseed Commission (OOC) held five meetings throughout FY2011. Two of the five meetings were held in conjunction with oilseed grower events in Lahoma and Enid.

Significant actions for FY2011:

Administration and Personnel:

– OOC contracted with the Great Plains Canola Association to provide administrative and executive director services for OOC through the end of calendar year 2011. These services were donated free of charge to OOC for calendar year 2010. Kenlon Johannes currently serves as our executive director.

Promoting Market Development and Education:

– OOC provided funding to support canola demonstration plots at fifteen locations throughout Oklahoma. These plots were managed and coordinated by Oklahoma State University and displayed multiple varieties of canola available for commercial production in Oklahoma to growers. The plots were available for viewing throughout the growing season and each location held at least one field day with industry representatives and OSU educators and researchers on hand.

– OOC established a permanent website ( to give growers a central location for information regarding OOC activities and events.

– OOC coordinated with Oklahoma State University graphic arts students to develop a commission logo to be used in OOC promotional materials.

– OOC supported two key Oklahoma canola grower meetings with the commission chairman speaking as part of the agenda regarding OOC activities. The Commission held meetings immediately following each event to allow maximum grower participation and input.

Enhance Oilseed Production and Research:

– OOC provided funding to support an Oklahoma State University research project on the Biology and Management of Blackleg in Canola. Knowledge gained from this research was presented by OSU researchers to canola growers at several meetings in Oklahoma during 2011 and is also available through the commission website.

– OOC provided funding to support an Oklahoma State University research project on Late Season Aphid Management in Winter Canola. Knowledge gained from this research was presented by OSU researchers to canola growers at several meetings in Oklahoma during 2011 and is also available through the commission website.
Financial Report: Enclosure (1) provides the itemized income and expenditures reporting required by the Oklahoma Oilseed Resources Act. As FY2011 was the first full year of financial operations for the Commission, a great deal of emphasis was placed on keeping expenditures as low as possible while supporting Oklahoma oilseed market development, education, and research. Total income from assessment collections and donations was $45,421.02 while total expenditures were $14,542.30. Nearly 65% of FY 2011 OOC expenses went to directly
support oilseed research and education.

Looking Forward:

As we enter FY2012, weather impacts throughout the current calendar year are having major negative impacts on all crops, including oilseeds. While anticipated Oklahoma oilseed production is expected to be lower this year, prices have risen with the lower supply. Since the Oilseed Assessment is calculated on value of crop sales, the overall impact of the drought on collections should be mitigated somewhat. Based on our current financial position, OOC has approved a substantial increase in funding for research and education over the next 12 months. Additionally, OOC has begun the process of coordinating with the Great Plains Canola Association to identify a permanent Executive Director for the Commission.

Preventing Canola Black Leg

Black leg of canola, also known as Phoma stem canker, was first identified on canola in Oklahoma in the 2009-2010 crop in a few fields. The disease causes leaf spots on rosette stage canola in the fall and early winter, and stem cankers in spring after bolting. The stem canker phase of the disease reduces yield when cankers advance to girdle stems prior to maturity. However, the black leg fungus has a much longer history in this state as it was first reported on cabbage in Payne and Seminole counties by D.A. Preston in the 1945 publication “Host index of plant diseases”. The vegetable industry first developed seed certification programs and hot water treatment of seed to reduce the chances of introducing the black leg fungus into new production areas.

In December, black leg was again found on canola in Oklahoma in the central part of the state. The canola field was adjacent to a wheat field that was previously planted to canola and where canola stubble was left standing (Fig 1). The stubble was covered with fruiting bodies of the black leg fungus (Fig 2). When these fruiting bodies were picked off the stubble, each one examined under a microscope was filled with asci (Fig 3), finger-like sacks filled with ascospores (Fig 4). All of the fruiting bodies on the stubble contained ascospores and are thus termed perithecia. Ascospores are the result of sexual recombination and cause the first infections of the new crop. Sexual recombination in the black leg fungus is gives rise to new races of the pathogen. Ascospores are released into the air following rain events and periods of high humidity. While ascospores can travel long distances in air currents, disease levels are highest in close proximity to the infested stubble and steep gradients of declining disease with distance away from the stubble typically occur. Such was the case in this field where leaf spots in the canola were numerous adjacent to the stubble, but were much harder to find on the distant side of the field.

Leaf spots (Fig 5) produced on rosette stage canola contain a second kind of fruiting body called pycnidia. Pycnidia produce asexual or clonal spores caused conidia. Conidia are released in a gelatinous matrix, producing sticky strands called that eventually become dispersed in water from splashing rain or runoff (Fig 6). These spores serve to reinfect plants and increase level of disease in fields. In canola however, most disease is thought to originate from ascospores. I was surprised to find such a heavy ascospore load remaining in the stubble during December. I would have guessed that most of the spores would have been released in the fall during the rosette stages of crop development. This may be a normal part of the disease biology in Oklahoma or the dry fall and winter months may have delayed spore development and release from the stubble. In Europe where winter canola is planted in the fall, most ascospores are released between September and November. In the northern U.S. and Canada where spring canola is grown, most of the ascospores are released from May through July. In these diverse production regions, releases of ascospores coincide with susceptible seedling and rosette stages of crop development.

The potential of black leg becoming a serious problem in Oklahoma is uncertain. Some speculated that we had black leg problems in last year’s crops because of the unusually wet fall. However, we have identified black leg this year following an unusually dry fall. The fact that black leg is established in crop stubble and is producing airborne spores suggest that unless farmers are willing to abandon no-till or minimum-till agriculture and revert back to plowing fields to destroy crop stubble, we are going to have to deal with this disease. Fortunately, all of the varieties being grown have some level of black leg resistance. We hope to learn more about the damage potential of black leg from management trials we have out this year that will address stages of crop susceptibility, variety resistance, and fungicide efficacy.

More information: Blackleg Update March 2011

The Biology And Management Of Canola Blackleg

Blackleg, also known as Phoma stem canker, is a destructive fungal disease of canola and other Brassica spp. caused by Phoma Iingam. lt has caused crop failures in canola/oilseed rape in Canada and Australia, and in Kentucky in the U.S. The disease was first found in Oklahoma in the fall of 2009 and apparently contributed to yield loss in some fields in North Central OK, alone or in combination with damage caused by the cabbage maggot. Because this is a new disease in Oklahoma, there is no local information on the damage potential of this disease or on effective strategies for disease control.

The proposed research on blackleg will have three objectives. The damage potential of black leg in Oklahoma will be assessed by inoculating field plots of susceptible and resistant canola varieties at crop development stages and measuring yield response. Secondly, a black leg nursery will be established where canola varieties and breeding lines will be screened for resistance to the disease.

Finally the effectiveness of fungicide application for managing black leg will be assessed. Different fungicides will be compared and various application timings will be assessed in artificially inoculated field plots. Results should provide canola growers practical information on the threat of black leg to local canola production and on effective disease control strategies.

Canola Hybrid Demonstrations

Canola continues to be accepted as a profitable crop option for producers in Oklahoma. With limited resources, it is cost prohibited to establish and maintain replicated variety / hybrid canola demonstrations in each county that is growing canola. One option that could be initiated to help producers understand variety of hybrid choices is to duplicate a project that is working well in the wheat industiy. That project involves unreplicated wheat variety strips for producer to evaluate in their county under their production systems. For this project, the OCES Agriculture Educator indicates that his county would like a set of varieties/hybrids (canola producer packets) and finds a producer to establish in a field where canola will be planted. The producer and the Educator plant the canola in side by side strips proximately 100 feet long in the field. During April the Educator and producer host a field tour to discuss the varieties/hybrids and other important canola production information. These sites might also serve as a gathering point for another demonstrations or section line seminars that the Educator or other Canola lndustry Leaders might deem necessary.

Canola Variety/Hybrid Producer Packet Demonstrations


1. Assist producers with selection of canola varieties/hybrids for his oanoia production system.

2. Determine if the demonstration of varieties/hybrids will influence the producers planting choice in the future.

These demonstrations target counties that do not have replicated variety/hybrid plots. They would also be targeted toward newer production areas where producers are just generating interest in canola.

Though public and private breeding efforts, we would hope to package 10 to 15 varieties/hybrids for planting in under represented counties. During the flowering period or shortly after, OCES personnel would lead a discussion on varietylhybrìd selection and other topics of interest for producers who attend.


1. August 1, 2010, determine where replicated trial location with Dr. Godsey will be located.
2. August 1, 2010, determine which counties are represented and invite the OCES Ag Educator the option to participate in these non replicated demonstrations.
3. August 10, 2010 allow OCES Ag Educator to determine his county grower and begin the process of getting the seed packets put together.
4. August 30, 2010 Deliver seed packets to OCES Educators for establishment ofthe demonstration plots.
5. April 2011 OCES Ag Educator hosts a tour ofthe plots and provides producers with a short questionnaire to determine if information and obsenration of varietìes/hybrids would be altered in coming years as a result of what they are seeing.

Results of this work are to hopefully avoid placing the wrong canola variety/hybrid in a situation that will not work. By hosting a tour at the demonstration site, producers can at least once a year visit with canola industry specialists and researchers to increase their knowledge and awareness of production information useful to their canola production system.

Relationship to Other Research:

This project closely follows what we are seeing at other canola demonstration sites across Oklahoma only it would be inthe producer’s back yard under their production constraints. This might be the only location that some producers attend during the year because it is closest to his home and would not need to travel long distances to see canola.

Dr. Chad Godsey, OCES Oil Seed Specialist
Mark Gregory, OCES SW Area Agronomist
Josh Bushong, OCES NW Extension Assistant – Canola
Ross Haxton, OCES SVV Extension Assistant – Canola

Late Season Aphid Management

Since the introduction of winter canola into Oklahoma, producers have battled devastating aphid infestations. During the initial years of production it became clear that canola could not be successfully grown in Oklahoma Without an effective aphid management plan. Turnip aphids can have the greatest impact killing young plants from November-March if untreated. Green-peach aphids occur throughout the growing season at high numbers. Whereas cabbage aphids are frequent late-season pests during flowering and seed-pod development. In response to an initial crisis caused primarily by turnip aphids, the OKANOLA team documented the effectiveness and profitability associated with Nicotinoid seed treatments, and developed sanmpling protocols and economic thresholds for this pest during the early spring. Significant late spring infestations of Green-Peach and Cabbage aphids (thousands/plant) continue to be a major concern for producers of producers sprayed insecticides for aphids at least once during spring 2010. However, economic thresholds for late eason infestations have not been established and information on the protitability of late season suppression is currently not available. According to the US Canola Association the impact aphid populations on Winter and spring canola needs to be evaluated in greater detail, and parasites and predators need further study. We plan to evaluate the impact of late season aphid infestations on canola yield and oil content in seeds, and document the profitability of late­season curative insecticide treatments.

During the late spring of 2010 75% of canola growers sprayed their Íields with insecticides to suppress aphids. These applications may be justifiable. However, there is no data available for Oklahoma producers as to whether yields were protected enough to justify the expense of an application. Justifiable use of insecticides will increase profit margins of producers both short and long-term, and any reductions in use will delay insecticide resistance While conserving natural enemies. Interestingly, during the spring of 2010 a few Íields that were not sprayed had large numbers of natural enemies, which may have contributed to aphid reductions. Proven profitable approaches for late season aphid suppression are essential for the completion of an aphid management plan.